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Google Is Banning All Referendum Related Ads


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Google is banning all ads related to the referendum to repeal the eighth amendment.

The Internet search giant says the move will take effect over the next 24 hours, and is part of its global election integrity efforts.

It means ads related to this month's abortion referendum will disappear from Google and YouTube over the next day.

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Technology James Lawless said the decision taken is "a positive development", which he hopes will see an end to "murky tactics being employed by unknown forces in our own referendum campaign".

Facebook has already banned referendum-related ads being placed from organisations outside of Ireland.

The Social Media giant yesterday confirmed it wants to help protect the integrity of elections and referendums from 'undue influence'.

Concerns had been raised about international organisations trying to influence the outcome of the upcoming abortion referendum by buying ads on Facebook.

Together For Yes, the umbrella group campaigning for a Yes vote, welcomed the news.

Campaign co-director Ailbhe Smyth argued: "This creates a level playing field between all sides, specifically in relation to YouTube and Google searches, who can now seek to convince the Irish electorate by the strength of their argument and power of personal testimony, not by the depth of their pockets."

However, the Save The 8th group slammed the move, arguing: "It is scandalous, and it is an attempt to rig the referendum.

"Online was the only platform available to the No campaign to speak to voters directly. That platform is now being undermined in order to prevent the public from hearing the message of one side."

Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan, meanwhile, described the move by Google as ‘internationally significant’.

"It is about allowing people to make their own minds up without interference from foreign influence", he said.


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